Berthold Albrecht: Trader Joe’s Owner Dies, German billionaire Berthold Albrecht, an heir to the Aldi Nord discount supermarket chain, died last month at age 58. His famously secretive family announced the news Friday in full page notices in several German newspapers. The cause of death was not disclosed, but Berthold Albrecht had reportedly been sick for a while. The funeral was held in November, according to German newspapers.
Berthold and his brother Theo Albrecht Jr. share a fortune that Forbes estimates at $17.8 billion-making them the second richest in Germany behind their uncle, Karl Albrecht, 92, who owns grocery chain Aldi Sud; Forbes estimates his net worth at $25.4 billion.
Berthold and Theo Jr. inherited Aldi Nord from their father Theo Albrecht, who died in 2010. Theo Sr. purchased U.S. discount grocery chain Trader Joe’s in 1979 and it has slowly grown to have more than 365 stores. Berthold’s main activity was to oversee Trader Joe’s, according to an article in the German newspaper Handelsblatt.
Berthold was a member of the board of directors of Aldi Nord. His survivors include his wife, Babette, and five children. Berthold and Theo Jr. have long been as secretive as their father, who became a recluse after being kidnapped for 17 days in 1971. Little was known about the private life of Berthold Albrecht. One prized possession, according to Handelsblatt, was a classic Mercedes car from the 1930s that was formerly owned by German steel baron Alfred Krupp.